Posts tagged "Qur’an"
Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

After being forced to flee eastern Aleppo in December, Wissam Zarqa moved to Idlib. Although the insurgent-held province is not known as a bastion of democracy, Zarqa will always remember it as the place where he voted in his first democratic election. More»

Jihad Pigs, Part IV

Jihad Pigs, Part IV

S.K. Malik’s Quranic Concept of War illustrates that during the late 1970s, the Pakistani military began adopting hardline conceptions of jihad in order to resolve a major crisis in national morale. This allowed the military to rehabilitate itself following a series of major defeats, and move against leftist and secessionist factions in the country. More»

Jihad Pigs, Part III

Jihad Pigs, Part III

Brigadier General S.K. Malik expounds on the purpose of warfare in Qu’ranic Concept of War by inverting the arguments of Carl von Clausewitz. Clausewitz famously argued that war is a “continuation of policy by other means,” while Malik believed that the ethical bases of war forces policy to define and determine its specific parameters. More»

Jihad Pigs, Part II

Jihad Pigs, Part II

A major criticism of Islamic militants is the fact that they fight during Ramadan. S. K. Malik’s Qu’ranic Concept of War complicates this argument by highlighting a strong Qu’ranic justification for jihad during the “prohibited month.”  More»

Jihad Pigs, Part I

Jihad Pigs, Part I

Brigadier General S. K. Malik’s book Quranic Concept of War was published in Lahore in 1979. Malik articulates a uniquely Islamic contribution to ‘just war’ theory, using the Qu’ran to discuss wartime ethics and the nature of modern jihad. More»

Qutb's Communism

Qutb’s Communism

For all his shortcomings, I find Sayyid Qutb to be treated somewhat unfairly. This was probably inevitable. After all, Qutb’s prison writings as a disenchanted member of the Muslim Brotherhood helped inspire two of the region’s most fear-inducing ideologies: Islamism, and Salafi jihadism. More»

Ratchet Islam

Ratchet Islam

The term ratchet, which comes to us from African-American Vernacular English, is obviously derogatory. It’s several kinds of derogatory though: being called a ratchet is an insult to class, status, and racial standing. The word is an indictment of the coarseness that supposedly defines plebeiean femininity in America. More»

Spirit of the Sunnah

Spirit of the Sunnah

I’m currently reading an English translation of the Qu’ran that contains additional commentary. It’s often frustrating to read the analysis. The publisher makes the mistake of issuing a scholarly reading of the holy text to the letter, which ignores the myriad ways that Muslims use Islam to inform their lives. The result is that philosophical discussions about what Sunnah means become the domain of increasingly hardline clerics. More»

Salafism and Politics

Salafism and Politics

I have many relatives who despise Shi’i, Sufi, and Ahmediyyah Muslims. Their religious practices are regarded with great suspicion. The main cause is Saudi-Pakistani incitement against their alternative religiosity, whether in Shi’i veneration for the Imams, the diversity of Sufi mysticism, or the Ahmeddiyah acknowledgement of a messianic Mahdi figure. More»

Sorting Through Salafism

Sorting Through Salafism

The pattern was familiar. Following the identification of the Boston Marathon bombers, US media were awash with experts, explaining the appeal of Jihad in Muslim communities. Security forces were deployed in major metropolitan areas. Returning from Pakistan a week after the attacks, a Homeland Security officer at JFK Airport asked me how often I pray, as though, because I’m South Asian, I must therefore be religious. More»

Pakistani Vampire Religion

Pakistani Vampire Religion

In the pogrom-like atmosphere gathering apace in Pakistan, the religious majority – Sunni Muslims – do not perceive that what is at stake is not an ‘altruistic’ concern for weak, insignificant minorities. The market, and its partner nationalism, make us think that ‘conscience’ is reserved for exceptional moments of humanitarianism, rather than being part of everyday life. More»